Yes, Congress and the White House managed to punt on any real solutions to our ever-growing debt crisis, reaching a deal that raised a lot of taxes but cut no spending. Yet the real signal that we are truly doomed as a country may have come from a bill that did not pass – not yet. The House of Representatives failed to pass a $60 billion relief bill for Hurricane Sandy, prompting Republican Governor Chris Christie to act like a petulant child who didn’t receive all that he wanted on Christmas morn.
“There is only one group to blame,” Christie said. “The House Majority and John Boehner.”
“Last night, the House Majority failed the basic test of leadership and they did so with callous disregard to the people of my state,” he said. “It was disappointing and disgusting to watch.”
“Shame on you, shame on Congress.”
Following his remarks, Christie doubled down on his criticism in a lengthy — and incredibly candid — press conference in which he laid into House Republicans for putting “palace intrigue” ahead of their actual jobs.
“Our people were played last night as a pawn…and that’s why people hate Washington, D.C.,” Christie said later. “They forget that we’re the ones who sent them there.”
Representative Peter King (“R” – NY) also blasted his party and even threatened quitting in anger – hours before throwing his support for Speaker John Boehner when others within the caucus attempted to oust him from leadership.
But King and Christie are just speaking out for their poor constituents who desperately need federal aid. Ummm, not exactly. Daniel Foster lists some of the items contained in this bill:
•$2 million to repair damage to the roofs of museums in Washington, D.C., while many in Hurricane Sandy’s path still have no roof over their own heads.
•$150 million for fisheries as far away from the storm’s path as Alaska.
•$125 million for the Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Watershed Protection program, which helps restore watersheds damaged by wildfires and drought.
•$20 million for a nationwide Water Resources Priorities Study.
•$15 million for NASA facilities, though NASA itself has called its damage from the hurricane ‘minimal.’
•$50 million in subsidies for tree planting on private properties.
•$336 million for taxpayer-supported AMTRAK without any detailed plan for how the money will be spent.
•$5.3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers – more than the Corps’ annual budget – with no statement of priorities about how to spend the money.
•$12.9 billion for future disaster mitigation activities and studies, without identifying a single way to pay for it.
As Foster notes, money has already been appropriated to deal with the immediate situation. And as Katrina Trinko adds, only 15 percent of the money allocated in this bill would actually be spent this year. Some emergency funding, huh? But of course the esteemed Senators from Alaska will not tolerate any criticisms of their pork requests.
These are two very real and very serious disasters that Alaskans are facing. The first being the salmon disaster which was declared a disaster by the federal government this past September – Alaskans are still waiting for relief after the devastating impact on fisheries. After Japan’s generous gift of $5 million, the U.S. government needs to step up to the plate as tsunami debris poses serious navigational hazards and risks to coastal communities. Sandy remains the priority in this bill, but given that many of the dollars allocated for debris will go to charting and mapping it, this bill is a more than appropriate vehicle to bring up these disasters which have severely impacted Alaska’s communities.
This fiasco highlights some things you need to know about our government, and why things will never improve. As Senator Begich’s comments illustrate, there is not a dime of federal spending that will not be defended by someone. No matter how trivial, no matter how seemingly wasteful, there will always be someone out there to defend that dollar (or millions) of appropriation.
More importantly, Christie’s childish reaction shows that even s0-called fiscal conservatives cannot be relied upon to remain level-headed. Surely Christie must be aware that some $20 billion or so of this bill is completely unrelated to dealing with the immediate aftermath of the hurricane. Instead of criticizing those in Congress who decided to weigh down this bill with unnecessary measures, Christie decides to demagogue the issue and blame the people who are at least trying to behave responsibly. Surely Christie could have called upon Congress to mass House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers’s much more reasonable disaster relief bill. But that’s not the Blusterer’s style. This was a moment to get on the evening news, and he wouldn’t have done so had he criticized Democrats.
Chris Christie is the golden child of “fiscal conservatives.” If even he is unwilling to patiently await passage of a reasonably considered bill that would focus on actual hurricane relief, but instead would prefer to scream about the need for IMMEDIATE PASSAGE NOW!!!!!!!!! – then what hope is there that we can ever achieve fiscal sanity in this country.
Ace has some sobering words to consider in light of this fiasco.
Watching “fiscal conservative” Chris Christie fail to say one word about those who demand that relief for his state be bought with unrelated spending for their own states, which weren’t hit by catastrophe — shouldn’t it be noted that Lisa Murkowski and Don Young of Alaska won’t vote for those left homeless by Sandy until some local businesses get their “cut”? — it occurs to me that he is accommodating himself to reality.
The reality is vox populi, vox dei — the voice of the people is the voice of God. And the voice of this particular shabby god has decreed that we shall be financially reckless and we should go through a national bankruptcy, and there’s no sense trying to avoid it, so we’ll just run up a huge tab buying multiple 65 inch 3D tvs before we crash.
Given that the people wish to spend money they do not have, and soon will not have (for all the same reasons that people with bad credit can’t rent a car — your ability to borrow is precisely related to your projected future ability to make good on your loans), and will not be diverted from this disastrous course, what can anyone do?
. . .
But for now, let’s go get a few of those sweet 3D TV’s and watch Pirates of the Caribbean IV.
You’ll think I’m a wonderful, well-providing father… for the next month or so.
After that, you may hold a different opinion of me. Major negative changes in circumstance tend to do that.
But for now– 3D TVs. Have you ever seen such a clear, sort of three dimensional picture? Aren’t I your hero? At this moment, I mean.
We deserve the government we have.
Oh, and before I hear from any wiseguys, two of my brothers had to abandon their flooded homes because of the storm.
The great conservative hope, at least according to the likes of Ann Coulter, recently appointed a gentleman named Bruce Harris to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Harris is openly gay – a point that Christie made sure to highlight when he introduced Harris as his nominee. Unsurprisingly Harris is a supporter of gay marriage, and has been very vocal on this issue. Blogger Paul Mulshine reprints an email that Harris sent to Republican legislators in the state:
As a Republican elected official and someone who has worked hard (and successfully) to get Republicans elected in Chatham Borough, it disturbs me that same-sex marriage has become a Republican versus Democrat issue (understanding there are some Democrats who do not support same-sex marriage). I was encouraged to see former Governor Christine Whitman’s op-ed piece in the Sunday, November 29, 2009 Star-Ledger supporting same-sex marriage, I hope you read her article and will seriously consider her suggestion.
You have met me and my partner of nearly 30 years, Marc, on more than one occasion at various political gatherings. The New Jersey Supreme court has determined that our relationship is entitled to the equal protection guarantees of the State Constitution. The New jersey Civil Union Review Commission determined that civil unions do not provide the equality the State Constitution mandates.(Please take a few moments and visit www.gardenstateequality.org. which has two short videos that provide sad examples of the failures of the civil union law.)
When I hear someone say that they believe marriage is only between a man and a woman because that’s the way it’s always been, I think of the many “traditions” that deprived people of their civil rights for centuries: prohibitions on interracial marriage, slavery, (which is even provided for in the Bible), segregation, the subservience of women, to name just a few of these “traditions.”
I hope that you consider my request that you re-evaluate your position and, if after viewing the videos, reading Governor Whitman’s letter and thinking again about this issue of civil rights you still oppose same-sex marriage on grounds other than religion I would appreciate it if you you’d explain your position to me. And, if the basis of your opposition is religious, then I suggest that you do what the US Constitution mandates – and that is to maintain a separation between the state and religion.
Surely Chris Christie knew of this.
That led me to ask the obvious question at a press conference Wednesday: Did Christie know how Harris stood on Lewis v. Harris?
Christie said of Harris and his other nominee, Phillip Kwon of Bergen County, “I did not ask them about specific cases.” He pointed to two other cases of concern to conservatives, the Abbott school-funding decisions and the Mount Laurel decisions on affordable housing, and said “to the extent that they’ve taken positions on those issues, they’re going to have to let us know that.”
The governor sure did his due diligence in this important duty, didn’t he?
Of course this brings out the band of merry GOP apologists, such as this commenter at NRO.
Good grief, throwing Christie under the bus ALREADY? He’s not even to the Greyhound station yet.
Is there anyone who in your view IS pure enough to be a Republican president? Talk about making perfection the enemy of the good ….
So now it a sign that you’re some fire-breathing purist to expect a Chief Executive to actually do his research before making critical appointments. Supreme Court appointments – be they federal or state – have long-lasting impact well beyond the life of a governor. Judicial appointments are among the three or four most important job functions of any president or governor. Even if Harris recuses himself from any matters pertaining to gay marriage, it is clear from this email that he is not what you’d call a sparkling originalist. As such, Chris Christie has failed in this vital aspect.
Unfortunately we have so lowered the bar of expectations that some will just overlook this minor inconvenience. After all, Governor Soundbite has so many cool Youtube clips of him berating his constituents, and as this entire election season has proven, bluster is a lot more impressive than actual accomplishments.
Some pro-lifers expressed fear that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was a bit of a moderate on social issues, especially with regards to abortion. Well Governor Christie has done something that few other governors and other political leaders have done, namely veto funding for Planned Parenthood. And now he’s done it again.
Following the release of a video that has received nationwide attention showing Planned Parenthood staff at a New Jersey abortion center helping alleged sexual traffickers cover up their crimes with abortions and STD testing, Governor Chris Christie has vetoed a bill funding Planned Parenthood.
A new undercover video shows Planned Parenthood officials in New Jersey telling a pimp and his prostitute assistant how they can get abortions for young teenage girls who, Planned Parenthood officials are informed, are Asians in the country illegally and forced into the sex trade. The staffer was later fired for her actions.
The Perth Amboy abortion center where the video is filmed is the second-largest Planned Parenthood center operated by Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey and the abortion business plans to double its number of abortion centers in the state.
Christie has already yanked state taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood but the state legislature sent him a bill to restore the taxpayer funds.
I’m not sure that this is directly related to the sting videos. As mentioned, Christie had already vetoed funding for Planned Parenthood before and most likely would have done it again anyway. Whatever the case, kudos to Governor Christie.
I also suggest that this this is further proof that economic and social conservatism need not and should not be divorced from one another. In other words, no truce required.
I was on my way to court yesterday morning when I heard this ad on WLS attempting to lure businesses from Illinois:
“Hi, I’m Chris Christie, Governor of the State of New Jersey. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Move my business to New Jersey? Really?’ Really. My administration has worked hard to change the direction of our business climate, plus our state has many advantages. We have an incredible talent pool to drive your business. Innovative financing, incentive and assistance programs. And an exceptional quality of life for the people who live and work here. Oh, and one more thing. As long as I’m Governor, I will not raise your taxes. I am proud of the new direction we’ve brought to New Jersey: lower taxes, reduced government spending and less regulation: a better home for business — today and in the future. Don’t let Illinois balance its budget on the back of your business. Choose New Jersey – we mean business.”
A lot of Republicans are going to be elected on Tuesday precisely because the Democrats have no clue in regard to restraining government spending. If the Republicans do not wish to find themselves in the same boat two years hence, they must embrace the hardnosed attitude of Chris Christie in taking an axe to spending. Republican elected officials, look at what Chris Christie is doing in New Jersey, and go thou and do likewise.
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, a man who is rapidly becoming my favorite male politician, has successfully cut state funds for Worse Than Murder, Inc, a\k\a Planned Parenthood.
After the New Jersey state Senate defeated an attempt to override the decision of Gov. Chris Christie to cut off state taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood abortion businesses, the first facility run by the national abortion giant is closing.
The Cherry Hill Courier Post newspaper says a Planned Parenthood facility located on Haddonfield Road and operated by Planned Parenthood of Southern New Jersey will close down.
PP-SNJ stands to lose as much as $160,000 in taxpayer funds because of Christie’s decision and the upholding of his veto. With the closing of the Cherry Hill center, Planned Parenthood customers seeking abortions or other “services” must go to PP centers in Camden, Bellmawr, and Edgewater Park.
Parenthood of Southern New Jersey president Lynn Brown told the newspaper, “We are in think mode and creative mode and we are doing all that we can to try and salvage to see as many people as we need to see.”
“We all know it’s strictly ideological,” Brown said of the funding cuts to the abortion business. “This is a very frustrating and perplexing time for us.”
While the Cherry Hill center does not do abortions, it gives abortion referrals to Planned Parenthood offices in Hamilton Square, Princeton, and Trenton where abortions are done on women and unborn children.
Marie Tasy, the head of New Jersey Right to Life, told LifeNews.com she applauded the state Senate for not overriding Christie’s veto of the Planned Parenthood funding bill.
“We applaud the Senators who voted No to override Governor Christie’s veto of S2139,” she said. “This debate was never about health care, it is about advancing a political agenda and rewarding ‘friends’ and a radical special interest group with our tax dollars.”
“We commend Governor Christie for his steadfast opposition to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse and for working to promote the best health care for all NJ citizens,” Tasy added.
Christie won the praise of pro-life advocates in July by vetoing a bill that would restore the family planning funds his administration cut from the state budget because of deep economic troubles. Continue reading
If we are going to get out of the fiscal pit that we find ourselves in, it will take this type of hard-nosed attitude. Bravo Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey !
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey continues committing political heresy: telling the voters the plain unvarnished truth. Government since the New Deal in this country has run on the premise of convincing a majority of voters that they can get something for nothing. Those days are coming crashing to an end against a wall of debt. Few things are more powerful in politics than a man or woman who understands that a page has turned and that new times are upon us. Governor Christie understands this and is acting upon it.
There was a time when unions were needed.
Today not so much.
The New Jersey Educational Association (NJEA) represents what is wrong with this country and this is entitlement.
Governor Chris Christie needs your help to eliminate the cancer that is the NJEA.
Please pray for him and the people of New Jersey as they engage the culture of entitlement.
(Biretta Tip: Notes on the Culture Wars)
If we are going to get ourselves out of the morass of government debt in which we find ourselves, it will only be due to the efforts of men and women like Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.
Yesterday he announced how he intends to lead New Jersey out of the fiscal wilderness:
As you all know, we have a fiscal crisis in New Jersey: a $10.9 billion deficit on a $29.3 billion budget.
Matt Rooney of The Save New Jersey Blog apparently enjoyed watching this video of what I believe to be a liberal reporter being put in his place by Republican Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie.
Worse Than Murder Inc, aka Planned Parenthood, has a nightmare, and his name is the newly elected Republican Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has taken a second step in his bid to cut state taxpayer funding of the Planned Parenthood abortion business. He first proposed a state budget that cuts the funding and now he has eliminated a federal waiver that was used before his election to give it more.
Christie’s decision eliminates $7.4 million in Planned Parenthood funding and has it joining seven others such as Mississippi and South Dakota that have cut off funding to the abortion business even for non-abortion services.
The proposed budget has seen cuts to everything from education to libraries to prisons. Last month, Mr. Christie, the first Republican elected governor of New Jersey in 12 years, unveiled a $29.3 billion budget that relies almost exclusively on spending cuts to reverse the sagging fortunes of a state he sees as battered by the recession and choking on its tax burden. Continue reading